PSG-Lille, the tops and the flops: the winning tactics of Galtier, Kehrer and Neymar at bay

Beaten 1-0 by LOSC this Saturday, during the 31st day of Ligue 1, PSG showed great deficiencies in all areas of the game. He did not help by the mediocre performances of Thilo Kehrer and Neymar. Opposite, Christophe Galtier’s game plan worked perfectly.


David, effective at the right time

He only played 35 minutes, due to a blow to the right ankle inflicted by Idrissa Gueye. He nevertheless had time to make the difference at his first real opportunity. The Canadian striker took advantage of Jonathan Ikoné’s excellent rush to open the scoring with his first shot on target. Certainly, Thilo Kehrer helped him with an unfortunate deviation. But provoking luck and fetching goals that are not necessarily ready-made, especially in such an important game, is also what is expected of a scorer of a title candidate.

Losc’s offensive transitions

After a few minutes of play, the statistic indicating less than 20% of possession for Losc did not go unnoticed. The balance of power was somewhat rebalanced over the course of the meeting, but these figures confirmed that Losc had come to play against. Christophe Galtier’s plan worked wonderfully, especially since his team has all the resources to make quick offensive transitions. The whole 4-4-2 Lille has pressed very well on all the weak points of the Parisian structure, always with this desire to play quickly so as not to be sucked in, or be fooled by the opposing pressing.

Lille’s defensive strength, with an excellent André

The first ten minutes initially suggested that the Lille defenders were going to live a very long evening. Especially with Tiago Djalo at the right side position, where his limits are easily seen. Like the Portuguese defender, it was in fact simply necessary for the northern rearguard to take its marks. Losc could not only count on Mike Maignan, still excellent, or on his four defenders, but also on his pair of axial midfielders. Supported by Boubakary Soumaré, Benjamin André particularly dominated the midfield with his six tackles and four interceptions, the best total on the field among the two teams.

The flops

Kehrer, symbol of Parisian defensive bankruptcy

The days go by and Thilo Kehrer always disappoints a little more. Besides his missed intervention on Jonathan David’s goal, it was catastrophic. Still positioned as a right side while he is trained in the axis, the German has failed both in his camp and in the opposing half of the field: the boulevards in his back have been used several times by Losc, and his terrible quality of center was obvious. Beyond the ex-protégé of Thomas Tuchel, it is the defensive structure of Mauricio Pochettino which is (still) to be reviewed. With the side too high and ineffective, the Marquinhos-Kimpembe pair at the height of the center line, the Paredes-Gueye duo warned in the first third of the meeting and an offensive quartet too little active, the 4-2-3-1 has too often took water.

The missing attacking attacking quartet

After an interesting start, marked in particular by a return from Neymar and a beautiful cross strike from Kylian Mbappé, the Parisian offensive quartet sank. The capital club was unable to serve its strengths under good conditions. Angel Di Maria, usual provider of goal balls, has gradually become invisible. Mauricio Pochettino’s meager tactical readjustments at the break did not really bear fruit. In the end, PSG certainly shot 16 times against 3 for Losc. But he only framed three of those attempts. Above all, he seemed to have a hard time creating clear chances.

Still inside, Neymar is still out of his match

This becomes a constant in Neymar’s Parisian adventure. When he’s muzzled by his opponents and he’s not physically fit (he only played at the end of the match against OL since his return from injury), the Brazilian tends to crack. He began to unpin shortly after returning from the locker room, when a Benjamin André shirt draw was not whistled. Then in the last seconds, when the PSG was pushing to snatch the draw, the number 10 stupidly got off its hinges and received a red card. To make matters worse, his football has been disappointing overall. What legitimately raise concerns for his performance against Bayern Munich.


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